Facebook Admits To Anti-Semitic Ad Categories

Facebook Let Its Advertisers Target “Jew Haters”

The advertisements were purchased through its self-service tool, which allows buyers to independently purchase and target ads, often without human interaction on Facebook's side of the transaction.

The anti-Semitic ad categories seem to have been generated because Facebook users had listed those themes as either an interest, an employer or a "field of study" in their profiles.

Last year, ProPublica reported that Facebook allowed advertisers to exclude users by race when running housing or other ads, despite a prohibition on such ads under the US Fair Housing Act 1969.

The embarrassing finding comes just a week after a Facebook internal review showed that hundreds of Russia-linked fake accounts were used to buy approximately $100,000 worth of ads aimed at inflaming political tensions ahead of and following the 2016 United States presidential election.

Facebook's self-serve ad technology could until recently be used to easily target anti-Semites, a report from Pro Publica indicated on Thursday. Although Facebook has taken proactive steps to combat hate groups on the platform, the company also admits that its AI continues to face difficulty in finding and removing hate speech.

"We've removed the associated targeting fields in question".

"Want to market Nazi memorabilia, or recruit marchers for a far-right rally?" one of the ads asks users on Facebook, according to ProPublica. Our community standards strictly prohibit attacking people based on their protected characteristics, including religion, and we prohibit advertisers from discriminating against people based on religion and other attributes. Last week, Facebook admitted that "inauthentic" accounts, thought to be operated out of Russian Federation, had placed $100,000 worth of ads between June 2015 and May 2017. Facebook is also enabling advertisers to report any fields they think breach Facebook's policies.

They found the category, but because there were only 2,274 people in it, it was considered too small for them to be able to buy an ad targeted at only Jew haters. The promoted post campaigns were approved in under fifteen minutes, writes ProPublica, confirming that the user audiences were real and able to be targeted by ads.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Russian operatives used Facebook's Events feature to organise political protests in the United States, including an anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rally in Idaho in August 2016. The statement pledges to improve filtering and responses to discrimination, hate speech, threats, and other such uses of the platform.

Such categories are not picked by humans rather it's created by an algorithm and Facebook has admitted that it does go out of the line quite often.

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